Fu Lu Shou Complex office portfolio for sale via EOI exercise

Image: CBRE

The Fu Lu Shou Complex office portfolio has a sizable floor area rarely made available for sale at attractive guide price of S$1,400 psf

Fu Lu Shou Complex office portfolio
Image: CBRE

CBRE announced on Feb 11 that it is launching the sale of a portfolio of three strata office units in Fu Lu Shou Complex at a guide price of S$1,400 per square foot.

The sale of the Fu Lu Shou Complex office portfolio will be by way of an Expression of Interest (EOI) exercise.

Conveniently located next to the lift lobby on Level 5 of Fu Lu Shou Complex, the subject portfolio consists of three strata-titled offices with unit areas of approximately 936 square feet, 2,034 square feet and 2,174 square feet. The combined strata floor area is approximately 5,145 square feet. All three units have water points, floor traps and toilets.

Mr Michael Tay, Head of Capital Markets, Singapore at CBRE says, “One of the many key selling points of the subject property is the sizeable floor area that is rarely made available for sale in Fu Lu Shou Complex, and at an attractive per square foot price. Two offices of unit area 1,464 square feet and 2,207 square feet were respectively sold in 2019 at S$1,435 per square foot and S$1,450 per square foot. Ownership of the office units in this development can be said to be tightly held, given that no office units were traded between 2006 and 2018.”

Mr Tay continues, “To be sold on vacant possession basis, these units are expected to garner keen interest from end-users who are seeking to invest in premises for own operations to lock in long-term operational costs and to hedge against volatility in the office rental cycles. The office portfolio will also appeal to investors – including family offices and high net-worth individuals – who have a mid- to long-term view of potential capital appreciation, against the backdrop of tighter office supply and stronger strata market scene. Not forgetting, investors also have the option to divest the units on an individual basis in the future.”

As the Fu Lu Shou Complex office portfolio are commercial units, both local and foreigners are eligible to purchase them without the imposition of additional buyer’s stamp duty or sellers’ stamp duty.

Completed in 1983, Fu Lu Shou Complex is a six-storey mixed development comprising a retail podium from basement 1 to level 3 and offices on levels 4 and 5. The Complex is strategically located on a corner plot with dual road frontages along Rochor Road and Waterloo street. It also enjoys seamless connectivity to other parts of the island with ready access to public transport facilities – a bus stop right in front of the Complex and Bugis MRT Interchange within a 200-meter walking distance.

Fu Lu Shou Complex is located within the bustling Bugis/Bras Basah precinct which is a well-known enclave for arts and cultural activities. With the recently announced plans to revitalize the Bugis Village and Bugis Street, more vibrancy will be injected into the area featuring novel lifestyles and F&B offerings, as well as integrated heritage and community events. Other nearby landmark developments include the upcoming Guoco Midtown, South Beach and DUO. These developments feature a good mix of residential, commercial, office and/or hotel components, which will contribute to the already voluminous pedestrian in the vicinity.

CBRE is the sole marketing agent for the EOI exercise of the Fu Lu Shou Complex office portfolio, which closes on 17 March 2020 at 3 pm.

Fu Lu Shou Complex is a shopping centre in the Bugis section of downtown Singapore that specialises in Daoist and Buddhist religious paraphernalia.

Like other Singapore malls which cater to a specific commercial market, the Fu Lu Shou Complex gathered together many tenants selling similar items; here tenants purvey items such as lucky stones and gems, ceramic religious icons, incense and so on. The mall is named after the Daoist concept of Fu Lu Shou, meaning, respectively, good fortune (fu, 福), prosperity (lu, 祿) and longevity (shou, 壽), clearly signalling its specialisation to consumers.

While it houses many solely commercial ventures, the Fu Lu Shou Complex is particularly notable in that it also contains functioning religious shrines integrated into certain stores. In their usage of the complex as a source of religious wares and as a site of religious practice, the tenants and consumers here blur the line between mall and temple. Thus, in visiting the Fu Lu Shou Complex, Chinese religion practitioners can obtain both religious paraphernalia and blessings from propitiated deities.

“The Fu Lu Shou Complex office portfolio is a good buy especially since office property vacancies are continuing their recovery as sales and rent prices continue their upwards trend,” said Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage officer at iCompareLoan.

“There is a large investment appetite for properties in the CBD area and there is also demand for space as our fintech industries grows,” he added.

“Office property vacancies will continue to recover as the market is acutely aware of the tight vacancy rate and muted future supply. The office market, especially the Grade A and prime office segment should see keen competition in the coming months,” Mr Ho predicted.

The office sector has taken a temporary breather after a strong 26% rental growth over three years. In the capital market, while valuations are high, office would still offer the best risk-reward proposition on the mid- to long-term horizon. Office demand will continue to be led by the technology and flexible workspace sectors, albeit at a slower rate than 2019.

“The Singapore real estate market to retain its lustre in 2020 amid uncertainty,” said Mr Ho.

Written by Ravi Chandran

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